A European Perspective
Edited By Robert Wiszniowski
Rise, crisis and transfiguration of the Italian regional system
Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy
1.The regional choice in the Constituent Assembly debate
The evolution of political decentralization in Italy has followed since 1948 a singular sinusoidal dynamic; the recognition of progressive and significant degrees of autonomy to the regions has always been followed by phases, of different intensity and duration, during which an attempt was made or was actually reached a substantial recentralization of competences.
In the constant alternation of such periods, to whose analysis the present study is devoted, we have come to a “new” regional system, with very different characters than those of the model originally designed by the Constituent, but for some aspect still elusive.
It is certainly true that, differently from the municipalities and provinces, the regions in Italy are relatively recent institutions, representing an innovation of 1948. The debate on regionalism, however, had already been developed in the age of Risorgimento, during the complex phase of the national unification that, through various annexation processes, had included territories and populations, sometimes very diversified for cultures and traditions, to the early Kingdom of Sardinia (Candido 2010).
The Piedmontese legal system, strongly influenced by the French centralist tradition, was extended to the Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed in 1861 and not only were federal solutions rejected, but also the proposals of those who (such as Giuseppe Mazzini) believed that the introduction of an intermediate territorial authority “between the municipality and the...
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